I seldom read an op-ed article I agree with more than Paul Krugman's
piece in today's New York Times.
"It's time to start winding down the war" in Iraq, he says. And he's right.
"It's time to face up to three realities. First, the war is helping, not hurting, the terrorists. Second, the kind of clear victory the hawks promised is no longer possible, if it ever was. Third, a time limit on our commitment will do more good than harm."
Yep, yep, and yep. Iraq wasn't a haven for terrorist training and recruiting until we made it one. We won't turn Iraq into a pliant trading partner. And an unlimited commitment won't make the impossible possible. The insurgents will wait us out whether we announce a drawdown or not.
"It's far more likely," says Krugman, "that if the Iraqi government knew that our support had an expiration date, it would both look to its own defenses and, more important, try harder to find a political solution to the insurgency."
Darn tootin'. Where's the urgency for the Iraqi government to get its act together when the competing factions know they can jockey for power indefinitely under a protective US military umbrella?
What's more, "The foreign terrorists now infesting Iraq are there on the sufferance of a homegrown insurgency that finds them useful for the moment but that, brutal as it is, isn't interested in an apocalyptic confrontation with the Western world. Once we're no longer targets, the foreign terrorists won't be welcome."
You tell 'em, Paul.
"America doesn't have to let itself be taken hostage (by Bush's martial dreams). The country missed the chance to say no before this war started, but it can still say no to Mr. Bush's open-ended commitment, and demand a timetable for getting out."
Amen, Brother Krugman.
Our leaders lied to us to start this war. They're still lying to us, and they'll continue to lie to us as long as we allow them to.
Speaking of lies--
"Everyone I talk to who goes to Iraq and comes back, say they are just amazed at the difference between their impressions from what they've heard in the media and see on television, and what they actually saw first hand in Iraq."
Brother. Nobody gets to talk to Donald Rumsfeld unless they tell him what he wants to hear.
I can't emphasize this enough--the war in Iraq will not be "lost" because of the media and protest. Remember that the people who keep telling you dissent is "unpatriotic" are the very same people who lied to you to get your support for the war.
Does anyone seriously consider supporting a bunch of liars to be "patriotic?"
Have a good weekend, everybody, and exercise your independence.